By Jonathan Woetzel, Jeongmin Seong, Kevin Wei Wang, James Manyika, Michael Chui, and Wendy Wong
China is already more digitized than many observers appreciate and has the potential to set the world’s digital frontier in coming decades
China has one of the most active digital-investment and
start-up ecosystems in the world, according to a new discussion paper
from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), China’s digital economy: A leading global force.
China is in the top three in the world for venture-capital investment
in key types of digital technology, including virtual reality,
autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, robotics, drones, and artificial
China is the world’s largest e-commerce market
accounting for more than 40 percent of the value of worldwide
e-commerce transactions, up from less than 1 percent about a decade ago
(Exhibit 1). China has also become a major global force in mobile
payments with 11 times the transaction value of the United States. One
in three of the world’s 262 unicorns (start-ups valued at over $1 billion
) is Chinese, commanding 43 percent of the global value of these companie.